Melani's Reviews > The Gravedigger's Daughter

The Gravedigger's Daughter by Joyce Carol Oates
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Nov 15, 08

Recommended to Melani by: no one
Recommended for: Oates fans only
Read in November, 2008, read count: 1

I have read numerous books by Oates, because her stories are sufficiently engrossing to provide me escape. This tale is no exception. It has all the usual JCO components - alcoholism, danger, obsessive love affairs, life-altering choices. Yet, I'm always left feeling cheated at the end of her novels. In this one, it seemed as if she opted for a cheap literary technique to end the story, rather than struggling to write a less cute or safe ending. And, I'm getting tired of her use of italics and sentence fragments to indicate her characters' "haunting" thoughts. This book felt like a Lifetime Television movie for the educated person. I shall probably continue to buy and read her novels when I need to disappear, but I am beginning to lose respect for myself, and I think Oates lost respect for her readers a while ago.
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Melani While I thoroughly enjoyed reading yet another of Joyce Carol Oates books, I have no idea how to review it. Sometimes I think her books are like the educated person's Lifetime Television movie. At other times, I am impressed with her depth of character development. There is always a haunting quality to life in her books, and this one is no exception. Usually there is alcoholism, obsessive love affairs, physical danger (again, no exception here). I didn't like the ending in this story, but I rarely like endings. I guess I always feel a bit cheated at the end of her books, as if she used some literary technique to complete the story, to hide from the reader. I don't know if this makes any sense to anyone who might read this review, but it is the best I could manufacture.


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